The popular YouTube group H3H3 productions did a real Walter Cronkite-level expose the other day on the phenomena of creepy YouTube toy channels. The report exposes a motherlode of bizarre and sexually suggestive, toilet-themed videos of grown adults dressed up as superheroes and Disney characters. Toy videos on Youtube are massive popular among young children, and despite their sexually charged, scatological content, these videos seem to be marketed to — and targeted at — young kids.
The videos, many with more than 1 million views and some with as many as 30 million, appear to originate from shady entrepreneurs in the former Soviet block and Asia. They use search key words popular among younger kids like "toilet," "kiss," "Elsa," and "Spiderman" to draw in millions of curious children. These videos which include bizarre nonsensical titles and even more nonsensical plots, and seem to be intended for kids who just want to see Spiderman and Elsa kiss (often with the obligatory toilet playing a co-starring role).
There are dozens of channels made by different people but they all follow the same formula: cheesy store-bought costumes, royalty-free musics and gonzo pseudosexual plot lines usually involving farting and toilets — raunchy and disturbing, yet still cleverly skirting YouTube's algorithmic censors. The videos usually contain about three to five characters who never talk (perhaps as they're largely filmed in non-English speaking corners of the world). There always must be Spiderman, but usually they also include Elsa and the Joker. Maleficent, Captain America and Supergirl make less regular appearances. For some reason, all Jokers wear the same costume across videos made around the world.
Many of the videos are a bit deranged (and definitely inappropriate for children) such as one named "Spiderman TOILET Frozen Elsa PRANKS! Superheroes Fun Anna Captain America Comedy Movies" where Spiderman "pranks" Supergirl by filming her while she's on the toilet (you could go to prison for this in the US and be labeled a sex offender for life). Toilet pranks are common across channels.
These YouTube videos are not going entirely unnoticed either. Just a few weeks ago a Vietnamese man was fined $1,300 by his country's local broadcasting authorities for labeling some of his "sensual" cartoon character videos for children. The videos were taken down but later re-uploaded on different channels.
Hai's channel, ‘Spiderman Frozen Marvel Superhero Real Life,' was centered around parody clips of popular cartoon and superhero characters, such as Marvel's Spiderman and Disney's Elsa, playing out violent, sensual, and mildly erotic scenes.
In one clip, ‘Superman' and ‘Snow White' were stripped naked inside a bedroom while another clip showed ‘Elsa' and her sister 'Anna' wearing swimsuits by the pool eating bananas in a ‘sensual' manner as ‘Joker' and ‘Maleficent' looked on.
One of the video-makers even confirms the videos are indeed intended for kids. Gadzhi Ziyadov from Azerbaijan owns the channel Superhero Gamezone (update: since deleted). He said he makes the videos because the kids love them and he based his videos on watching what other channels do.
The kids definitely love his videos, like, for instance "Frozen Elsa VAMPIRE TOILET ATTACK! w/ Spiderman Joker Maleficent Princess Anna Toys! Superheroes IRL". It has almost 11 million views. That means the YouTuber creator could have earned about $10,000 in ad revenue for a single video.
And the madness does not stop there. Animated videos of Spiderman and Elsa also exist, joining the pair in scatological, toilet-related and mildly sexual situations that are so bizarre they are not only deeply inappropriate for children, they probably would not be enjoyed by a fully functioning adult.
In a video titled "Spiderman & Elsa Kiss! Spiderman, Elsa & Anna Compilation (Superheroes)," Spiderman and Elsa get off the toilet to enjoy a sensual lying down kiss and PG-13-rated foot play.
The Spiderman and Elsa racket is big money, based on little effort. Hordes of children wanting Elsa and Spiderman to lock lips means big money for video makers all around the world. Might be a good career move, if you don't mind peddling sex to kids.
And parents: when you see your kids on your tablets, digging into all these seemingly harmless toy videos on YouTube — and maybe giggling a bit too much — take a second look at what they're watching.